Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Are Interracial Families Becoming An Advertising Trope?

It was 2012 and I, like the rest of the nation, was glued to my TV screen watching the opening ceremony of the Olympic games. I was captivated by this extravagant display, however I recall one scene particularly capturing my attention. This scene depicted a multicultural middle class family enjoying what seemed to be a typical Saturday evening. The family was headed by a tall, lean, dark skinned black man and a slim, fair skinned, blonde white woman. The family included two biracial children, a boy and a girl who both had light brown skin and loosely curled brown hair.

This was the first time that I recall seeing this family dynamic – white mother, black father, and mixed-race children – on a prominent mainstream platform. Fast forward eight years and the portrayal of multicultural (and usually middle class) families headed by black men and white women have become a mainstay in British advertising campaigns and on British television shows. You name the product, the British media has a multicultural family or interracial couple to sell it! And it should be noted that there is little variation in these images; the families/couples are almost always composed of conventionally attractive people and at least one member of the family – usually the mother or woman – is fully white.